Jowar Sorghum Bicolor

Jowar Sorghum Bicolor

Jowar is a very important fodder crop of dry areas.  It can withstand droughts and up to some extent water logging conditions also.  Some varieties of sorghum give 2-3 cuttings also. Its English name is sorghum. Jowar is a tropical crop suited to moderate rainfall (300-350mm) and areas having 25o-30o C mean temperature. In early stage of crop growth it requires well drained soils.

Soil requirements: Clay loam to sandy loam soil are suitable for Jowar cultivation it can withstand water logging for short period in later stage comparatively it is more tolerant to soil salinity than maize.

Sowing method: It should be sown by drilling on kera method in lines 25-30 cm apart at a depth of 5-6 cm.

Seed rate: A seed rate of 16-20 kg per acre should be used for single cut varieties while 8-10 kg of seed is sufficient for multicut varieties.

Time of sowing:- It can be sown round the year in South India and from March to August in North India in irrigated areas.  However in rain fed areas it should be sown with onset of rains.

Manure and fertilizer requirement:  In case of multi cut varieties apply 25 kg urea after each cutting.  In the absence of farm yard manure application 110 kg urea per acre should be applied in two split doses.  Half of it should be applied as a basal does at the time of sowing and remaining half should be applied in after first irrigation. However in multi cut varieties apply 40 kg urea at the time of sowing 20 kg urea after first irrigation and after each cutting.

Irrigation:- Irrigation should be given at 10-15 days interval in summer season and 20-25 days interval in post monsoon season. In rainy season it should be irrigated as and when required.

Harvesting: - Single cut varieties should be harvested 70-90 days after sowing at boot stage.  In case of multi cut varieties first cutting should be done at 55-60 days after sowing and subsequent cuts may be taken at 45-50 days interval.

Climatic requirements:  Young plants of jowar contain a glucoside called dhurrin which breaks down into hydrocyanic acid in rumen.  This is highly poisonous to animals.  Thus, sorghum must be harvested after flowering.  If its harvesting before flowering becomes unavoidable than an irrigation must be given before harvesting the crop.

Yields:- 150-200 quintal green fodder per acre in case of single cut and 280-320 quintal  per acrein case of multicut varieties.

Crop mixtures: Gaur, cowpea, green gram, black gram, horse gram or bajra may be sown mixed with jowar.